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St Catherine's, Bramley, Surrey(13 Posts)
I have a fourteen year old at St Catherine's. She is a weekly boarder. She is doing incredibly well there having had the usual teething problems with joining any new school in her first year. I have been impressed with the independence she is given and the incredible teaching which has turned my daughter into someone who not only wants to learn but who wants to excel. She isnt' hugely sporty or musical but still gets plenty out of the school and whilst the boarders are a small part of the school she has a huge number of day girls as friends and the house system works well so they meet lots of different girls. I can only recommend St Cats highly and my daughter did not come via the junior school she joined at 11+ and had no problem integrating. From what I see that comes out the other end in Sixth form it is a phenomenal school with great results that gives us confident, mature and happy girls who are always willing to 'have a go'.
I have a daughter at St Catherines. We have been delighted by the school. We sent a shy, anxious girl there at 12 and she has gained confidence steadily each year. I credit the school to a large part for this. It is a friendly, inclusive school. Girls are encouraged to participate in as much as they can. Academics are valued as much as music, art and sport. This is a full on school but that is how they produce such well-rounded, ambitious, confident and independent girls. By the time they are in 6 form, most of this has been achieved. There is a very cohesive atmosphere and the girls support each other in house and individual endeavours. Of course there is some bitchy behaviour, there is at every school. However, this is dealt with quickly and well by the staff. The girls are encouraged to take on more responsibilty as they progress through the school which enables them to leave the school with little fear and a belief that they can accomplish anything they want. There are some students who come from wealthy families but there are families who struggle to send their girls there and the girls do not distinguish or discriminate accordingly. The reason the school is able to offer so much is that they are a boarding school also. We liked the school more than the Guildford day schools as we would rather have our daughter hanging out in fields and playing sport than hanging on Guildford High Street. Alternatively, they can do arts or be very involved in the music programs. As for the anorexia issue, I am sure that Tormead and GHS have the same percentage of girls with these issues. They are going to present themselves at every school in girls of this age. Overall, we are very happy with the school. The head is a dynamic, fiesty woman who believes passionately in girl power.
This thread is two years old - things have probably changed over time but I know girls at all three of the schools mentioned and as individuals they're a ll pretty similar - most are lovely, some are loud and 'out there', some are a little bit snobby - you choose your own friends.
I am a childminder and babysitter. I have babysat for a lot of the private school girls in the area and the girls I've looked after from St. Catherine's have been, without exception, happy, friendly and confident.
If there's snobbishness from either parents or girls, I've yet to come across it.
I also know some of the Old Girls and, again, no snobbishness that I've ever noticed.
I think some of these comments are overly harsh. St cats is a high achieving girls school with an excellent reputation, excellent results and a fabulous head. In 2012 it ranked number 32 in the FT school rankings out of ALL schools, state and independent. This is a fabulous achievement and only marginally behind GHS (ranked 16 in same list) when you consider just how many schools there are in Britain. Tormead came in around 77 I think, and really any school in the top 100 has done exceptionally well. Rankings are not the only thing to judge a school by, of course. St Cats offers lots of extra-curricular, and because it is a boarding school it has a global outlook. GHS and Tormead are also excellent schools. All of these schools have had girls who want to leave before sixth form etc., and why not? But the vast majority stay to do A Levels and are happy. I've visited St Cats and the girls I met were grounded, intelligent and friendly. It's the school I'm choosing for my DDs. Both are lovely girls and I am sure they will remain so! It can't be too snobby or super-posh or they wouldn't let the likes of us in!
We're going for GHS for DD but I have looked at and researched (anecdotally) St Catherine's. Have heard it is super-posh, much snobbier than GHS/Tormead, and as someone else has said, a bitch factory. Which turned me off it completely.
GHS seems amazing and I am praying DD gets in. Have you considered it?
I'm considering this school for September next year (11+) - is this still the reputation that the school has. We went to the open day and came out loving the place but have since been told a few bits about girls suffering from stress/ anorexia etc. But isn't that the case at many of these high achieving schools?
I know the headmistress. She's a really nice sensible woman, lovely sense of humour and really dedicated to the job and to her girls. The school is a bit more diverse than Tormead and GHS because it has boarders as well as day girls. Go and have a look
my two cousins went there and left just a few years ago. One ended up hospitalised with annorexia and the other refused to return for Sixth Form because she hated it so much. She went to a Sixth Form College instead and loved it.
what I've heard is that it is a bitch factory and that girls who have been there many years ie since reception etc go off the rails by the time they are teenagers and want to leave. ALl local gossip I know and perhaps told with embellishment but thought I'd pass it on!
It is a pretty good school. It is very different from Guildford High and Tormead in as much as the other two schools have a central city location and mix extensively with RGS and Lanesborough (boys) and the local state schools socially.
DS1 knows girls from GHS and Tormed, County and George Abbot but not any of the girls at St Catherines.
Lovely location and good results. But as I don't know any of the girls personally that is as much as I know
Hi Cortina - this is little more than a bump I'm afraid. I've heard good things 2nd hand - But I don't know how it compares to Guilford High or Tormead (sp?). Hope someone else with more direct experience comes along soon.
Anyone any experience of or opinions about this school - primary or secondary. Thanks.
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